Stage 8 marked a strong day for the Indian contingent, with riders from Sherco TVS and Hero MotoSports putting up a strong show. After battling a sandstorm the previous day, competitors once again had to withstand a number of challenges, including fog as well as dust left behind by the lead pack as the fastest 10 competitors across the cars, quads, bikes and trucks categories from the previous stage started one after the other in a mixed start format.
Michael Metge picked up his pace once he hit the sand dunes and bagged the 10th fastest time of the stage. The strong result has elevated him to 24th in the overall rankings, up seven places from where he was after Stage 7. “It was a challenging stage with the bad weather and order of vehicles at the start point. As the rally moves closer to the end, I feel the urge to make up for the time lost in the initial stages and record my best timings once we reach Lima at the end of the rally,” he said.
Despite suffering a minor wrist injury, Adrien Metge managed to hold on and complete the stage in 14th place and he’s now 26th overall. Aravind KP continued with what has been a consistent run so far, climbing up to 39th overall after a 39th place stage finish. He battled with low visibility initially but was able to ride smoothly post the refuelling point into the dunes.
Commenting on the stage, Aravind KP said: “The low visibility at the start was a concern for me and I didn’t take any chances. I really enjoyed my ride once I hit the dunes and managed to improve my rankings. It was a very long stage and I am happy to have completed it.”
Elsewhere, Hero MotoSports’ two riders made big gains in the general classification. Oriol Mena has now broken into the top 10 in the overall standings, gaining some valuable time over his close rivals to complete Stage 8 in 11th place. His teammate Joaquim Rodrigues finished just behind him in 12th place after suffering a minor back injury while tackling the fast stage. Rodrigues is now 18th in the general classification, with just 2 stages left to go.
Overall standings after Stage 8
24. Michael Metge
26. Adrien Metge
39. Aravind KP
10. Oriol Mena
18. Joaquim Rodrigues
1. Toby Price
2. Pablo Quintanilla
3. Matthias Walkner